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The Gleaner 
1999-2000 

established 1901 

Delaware Valley College 
Doylestowtiy Pennsylvania 

Co-Editors 

Robin Goldblum 
Blake Heffler 

Publication Advisor 

Dr. Karen Schramm 



1999-2000 Gleaner Staff 

Christine Babler 

Marlena Balliett 

Sloane Heffler 

Elizabeth Ann Leiter 

Rachel Stick 

Front & Inside Back Cover: Dr. Karen Schramm 
Back Cover: Jodi Paterno 

Special thanks to the following: 

Dr. Linda Maisel for coordinating the Gleaner High 
School Writing Competition 

Mrs. Edna Manlove for her technical assistance. 

Mr. Barry Denlinger and PTGraphics, Inc., 

for their time and generosity. 



SAND CASTLES 

You built me castles - 

Big, beautiful palaces 

With rooms and quarters 

To call my own. 

You built me castles 

And made them real to me. 

You gave me all I asked, 

Nothing less and nothing more. 



Built along the beach - 
My castle stands 
For every wandering eye to see 
These wonders all my own 
Sacred in my fantasy. 
Furnished by your gentle words 
And carved by your loving han 
You built me castles, 
Built them in all honesty. 
But alas, my friend, 
The waves camprtff 
And washed my dast* 



Tracy J. Hall 




WHERE UNCERTAINTY REPLACES BEING 



Fantasize, 

Visualize 

See her, 

inside. 

Show her 

to me, 

Naked to 

the world. 

Don 't be ashamed. 

Grasp the beauty 

that is 

you 

Internal resolution, 

anxiety, 

procrastination. 

None of these hold 

any importance. 

For I shall see you 

for who you are. 

Give me the time. .. 

to expose what is pure 

in you. 

Behind the dark, 

frigid, 

hleak exterior, 

an incandescent glow 

fades to black, 

in your eyes. 

Melicent Salani 



FOREVER AND A DAY 

In my room, sitting with you. 

Nothing else seems to matter 
I am completely at peace, 

-Lost in your eyes 
Allowing my innermost, hidden 
thoughts and feelings to 

Fly freely around us, 

~~Like delicate butterflies showing 
off their new wings in 
the first days of Spring. 
Looking at you, 
~Your expressions as I let 

myself unfold, 
I know there is nothing more 
I could want. 
In you I have found myself. 

All that I am; 

All that I want to be 
With you, I have learned to 

Lighten my heart. 

Laugh with sincerity. 

And hold on to hope. 
Hope that we will be the couple 
who enjoy each other's company 
until the end of time. 

Every day, I fall more into 

The bottomlessness that is love 
I see you and my heart jumps. 
I am lost out in the cold, in the rain, 
drowning myself in stress and fears 

And it is you who shows me warmth 

And gives me shelter in your arms. 
No words could ever begin to touch upon 
the extent to which 
I love you. 

I just wish you could know 

How happy you make me. 
You are my piece of 
heaven on earth- 

~a taste of what is in store 
Please remember always 
that you are mine 
as I am yours- 
Forever and a day 

I love you! 

-KatieAnn 



FAVORABLE MUTATION 
Robin Goldblum 

The sterile air that swirled around the laboratory had an almost metallic taste to it. 
Everything in sight was dull white, from floor to ceiling, counter to counter, and all the 
machines. It was the best color to detect dirt and chemical spills. The only color marring 
the perfect whiteness was from the large metal casks of liquid nitrogen housing the cryopre- 
served embryos and tissue cultures. 

Lab technician Shannon Johnston watched as her coworker, Aaron Cranage, very care- 
fully pipetted 5.00 mL of media. In their line of work, accuracy was extremely important. 
One slip-up could lead to contamination, effectively destroying the entire experiment. Aaron 
finished with his tissue culture and stuck the petri dish in the incubator. When he saw 
Shannon looking at him, he obnoxiously stuck his tongue out. 

"You know, the bacteria on your tongue could contaminate this entire lab," she stated. 

"How very romantic," he said with a disgusted look on his face. "Where's the mad 
scientist?" 

It took Shannon a moment to realize he was talking about their boss, Dr. Garner. 
'Mad scientist' was an apt description. His slivery hair flew in all directions; some believing 
it had never seen the teeth of a comb. His smudged glasses only accentuate the hugeness of 
his eyes. It seemed he tried to keep his face clean-shaven, but usually by the end of the week 
he had quite a lot of stubble. The clothes he wore were always rumpled and frequently 
stained. His conversations were one-sided, with him spouting on and on about his current 
project in words only a person with an advanced degree could understand. Yet, for all his 
faults, he was an extremely intelligent and caring man. 

Shannon shrugged, "I have no idea where Dr. Garner is, but doesn't he seem 
tight-lipped about this new experiment?" 

"Come to think of it, I haven't had to look up any scientifically impossible words 
yet this month. Do you know what he's up to?" 

"All I know is that the project is being funded by an independent corporation. I 
heard the name when they initially contacted us. It had 'on the Coast' as part of the name, 
but I can't remember the rest of it. They apparently have had no success at other labs with 
whatever they are trying to do so they came to get Dr. Garner's expertise," she explained. 

"Sounds fishy to me." Aaron glanced at his watch. "I've got to run down to pick up. 
The specimens from the local supplier should be here by now. I've got to get those tissue 
samples into cold storage before they defrost. Bye!" he waved as he ran out the door. 

"See ya. Hey, I think I'll ask Dr. Garner what's going on next time I see him!" she 
yelled after him. 

"Let me know what you find out!" he called back from halfway down the hallway. 
Two Days Later 

Shannon watched lazily as her cells spun in the centrifuge. Normal routine work like 
cell counting for viability was all she had to occupy her time since Dr. Garner had not let 
her in on the new project. She knew he had to journey into the lab eventually today to get 
the updated progress reports, and she intended to be there when he arrived. If she asked just 
right, she knew he would never be able to resist letting her in on the secret. 

As her cell counter clicked away, she heard the door open very quietly into the room. 



The shuffling noises behind her told her that the intruder was trying to remain unnoticed. 
Shannon stopped the clicking. "Dr. Garner?" she asked without turning around. 

The shuffling stopped and a good-natured voice spoke out. "Ah Shannon, you 
caught me. I was just sneaking in to get those reports without disturbing you." 

Shannon turned to find him in his usual attire of baggy, oversized gray pants and a 
wrinkled plaid shirt. His favorite lab coat was no longer white but a pale yellow. A blue 
chemical stain was splashed absentmindedly across the front and the bottom was frayed and 
torn. He had a pair of eye goggles stuck in his front pocket and a sealed test tube in his 
hand. He placed the tube on the desk as he routed around for the progress reports. 

She took a deep breath. "Dr. Garner, do you have anything for me to work on with the 
new project?" 

A sad look crossed his face before he answered. "Alas, the project is top secret as 
desired by the contractors. All I can tell you is that the work we are doing is revolutionary!" 
His face brightened. "I promise that if this research succeeds, I shall personally show you 
the results. It may take a long time. Are you up for the wait?" 

"Definitely," she said as he grabbed the reports and left. It was a moment before she 
realized he'd left the sealed test tube lying on the desk. She picked it up and rushed out the 
door, but it was too late. He was gone. 

She walked back in the lab, the tube gently held between her fingers. Thoughts on 
what to do with it floated through her mind. She knew that the correct procedure was to 
call the main lab and have them report the mistake to Dr. Garner. Unfortunately, her 
curiosity was dangerously gnawing at her brain. Before she could stop herself, she 
unwrapped a sterile pipette and drew up 0.001 mL of the unknown liquid. As she focused 
the microscope on the cells, images of the end of her career swam in front of her eyes. Yet, 
it was too late to turn back now. The deed had already been done. 

She slid the microscope lens in place for higher magnification and observed the cells. 
There was not an abnormal amount of deformed or irregular cells. Carefully, she got a sin- 
gle cell in the early dividing stages in the center of her view and attempted to count the 
chromosomes. Whatever these cells were from, it wasn't human, mouse, or rat because the 
numbers weren't right. 

"What are you doing?" 

Shannon jumped at the voice behind her, letting out a high-pitched squeak. 
"Aaron!" 

"What's so interesting that you didn't even hear me come in?" he smiled, his eyes 
wandering over to the microscope. 

Shannon tensed, knowing he'd get the truth out of her soon enough. Without delay- 
ing too much, she blurted out her whole deception. He could have run to the phone and 
reported her, but instead he said, "Let me see." 

As she stepped aside, she said, "You realize that by looking, you are putting your 
career in as much jeopardy as mine." 

"Understood." He peered in, adjusting the focus for his own eyes. "Wow, this looks like 
horse DNA." He turned the knob a little more. "There seems to be some mutations though. I 
can't tell what kind of phenotypic changes will result either. Could be interesting," he said as 
he got up. "Now you'd better report that thing." 

"I will. Thanks Aaron," she said as she disposed of the evidence. Aaron had dis- 



pelled some of her fear, but the nagging thought of Dr. Garner's disapproval tugged at 
her for a long time. 
Thirteen Months Later 

The warm sun felt delicious on Shannon's back as she walked from the parking lot to 
the lab. Nothing had ever come of her indiscretion and she'd received a promotion to head 
lab tech a couple of months back. 

"Shannon!" A smile came to her face as a disheveled Dr. Garner rushed out of the lab 
towards her. "It's time!" 

"Time for what?" she asked confused. 

"To view the results of the secret experiment. I have been successful and I never for- 
get a promise." He took her by the arm and they climbed into his car. 

For miles she listened as he told her all about his new project, this time not top 
secret. At one point he turned down a bumpy, dirt road and Shannon wondered just where 
they were going. They finally stopped in front of an immaculate farmhouse. 

"They should be around back," Dr. Garner said as he led her towards the barn. 
"There," he said, pointing to the horses. 

Shannon moved closer until she was right next to the high wooden fence surround- 
ing a large piece of grassy land. There were a couple of mothers with foals across the field, 
but the one closest seemed to draw her eyes. It was a well-formed male with a shining 
white coat. The deep blue eyes flicked over her and then strayed 
back to his mother. The most remarkable feature, 
however, was the small golden horn emerging 
for his forehead. 

"A unicorn," Shannon breathed. 

"He is my miracle," Dr. Garner 
whispered. "This discovery can be so 
dangerous if in the wrong hands, so I 
do not intend to publish it." He 
quieted as they watched the young 
unicorn burst in a fit of speed to 
play with the other foals. 

"A beautiful miracle," 
Shannon said and 
turned back to 
the car. 




Dr. Richard Ziemer 

POLITICS, POWER, AND YOU 

How few and highly ceremonial are the occasions in one's lifetime when a new monarch is crowned or laid to 
rest. The third king of Israel, Solomon, succeeded David, his father, who had succeeded King Saul. His inau- 
gural remarks are highly spiritual in nature-a prayer, if you please-and are recorded in the first book of the 
Kings of Israel, chapter 8. A reading of the entire chapter recounts many areas of life-social, familial, political, 
environmental, and international-for which he prays. It is a testimony to spiritual energy. 

How different is this occasion from many others throughout history-and even in our nation's own ceremony 
of witnessing the swearing in of our President. The brief ceremony, during which a Bible may be used, 
becomes an occasion for a political platform and is followed by extravagant and multiple celebrations. 

To lay the groundwork for I Kings 8, we must first examine Deuteronomy 17: 14-20, in which God directed 
Moses that when Israel does get a king, he is not to multiply horses to himself, nor marry many wives, nor 
accumulate great amounts of gold and silver. We later see that Solomon violated all of these in spite of his 40- 
year reign of peace as king. He was to write his own copy of the law and keep it with him. 

For the wisest man reputed to have lived and about whom movies have been made, note the tenor of his inau- 
gural prayer in I Kings 8: instead of its being a political agenda, it is a prayer, instead of promoting self-inter- 
est or political aggrandizement, it honors God; instead of being offered by a priest or rabbi, it is offered by the 
monarch himself-King Solomon-in the temple which he built for the IX) RD. 

In the several divisions of verses in this chapter King Solomon addresses various focuses: 

Verse 31, "When someone wrongs his neighbor and his contrition brings him before God, then forgive him." 

Verse 33, "When the nation has been defeated by an enemy because of wrongdoing, and it comes in contri- 
tion to seek supplication from God, then hear the people and forgive them." 

Verse 35, "When there is drought because of the nation's wrongdoing and the people turn back to God, then 
hear them and send rain." 

Verse 37, "When a famine or disease plagues the land, and the people call on God, then forgive them and 
heal them." 

Verse 41, "When the foreigner hears of God's fame and visits the land and prays toward this temple, then 
grant them their requests." 

Verse 46, "When Israelis sin against God and are taken captive by an enemy and have a change of heart 
toward God, then hear their prayer and forgive them." 

After making all these personal, political, environmental, health-related, and globally-related petitions to God, 
he pronounces in verse 59 and 60, "May these words of mine which I have prayed before the LORD be near 
to the LORD our God day and night, that He may uphold the cause of his servant and his people Israel 
according to each day's need, so that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that 
there is no other." 

After the ceremony and prayer ended, the king blessed the people, threw a party that lasted two weeks, and 
then everyone went to his own house. Later, when a foreign monarach-the Queen of Sheba-paid Solomon a 
visit and saw his zoo, the temple, and servants, she was impressed and said, "I never even heard the half of it!" 



10 



Ode to an Abusive Ex 

I want to see your face 

Cause you're still so beautiful to me 

But looking at your eyes 

Washes me in memories 

I see your eyes all smiley 

And full of love for me 

I see your eyes all angry 

And full of yatreb and envy. 

I want to smash your face in 

And ground it in broken glass 

Then maybe you won't seem so smug 

And so hateful and so gorgeous 

And so envious and so mean 

And everything you always/never were. 

So r(( put my blinders on 

So that I don't have to see you 

Cause the hurt's so bad 

And the hate's so much 

And if I see you smirking 

At me one more time 

I'll either crumble... 

Or explodel 

why can't you get out of my life! 



EAL 



11 




Christine Babler 



12 



Marlena C. Balliett 



DREAMS ARE . . . 

Dreams are happy 

or sad. 

They can be scary 

or relaxing. 

Dreams can be visions 

of times to come, 

Or memories 

of past experiences. 

Dreams are wishes 

or anxieties. 

They can be real 

or made up. 

In any direction they go 

or any path they take 

Sometimes you are 

glad they are there. 

Others you're not sure 

how to feel. 

Giddy as a school girl 

or as blue as the moon. 

Sometimes you get hurt, 

expecting results that just never appear 

or you smile with the outcome. 

Once the dream is planted 

it grows a tree, 

A tree of hope and love and desire. 



13 



Amy Zimmerman 

KA/oRAA/CE IS ELKS 



There are times when I wish I cficfn t know how to grieve or fee! pain 
Vv/pen people cfie, 
I woufcjn t unqerstancj 
Sc I woufcjn t cry. 

I woufcln t fo^ow what it s fifce 

To cry pecause X woulcfn t feel empathy 

por people ancf their families. 

I woulcfn t f?e apfe to fathom 
Crying during a peautiful song 
Or even cry when Xm happy. 

X woulcfn t Pe aple to feel sacfness 

Or cfespair for people 

That are close to me when they feel safcf, 

Or happy, 

Or when they cfie. 

These are all nice things in theory 

But feeling ancf having emotions are part of living, 

At least they re part of me. 

Through it all this is wh^t X cf want myself to pe. 

Having feelings is part of peing human 

Xts what mafces us special. 

Xf <W cficfn t want us to feel, 

He woulcf Ve macfe everything perfect, 

Because pacf things happen, ancf He 

Vv/eulcJ ve macfe everyone the same. 

But he was smarter than that, 

He macfe people imperfect ancf emotional. 

So Mofcf even macfe ignorant people. 



14 



-in loving memory of Mike Napoli 

a hand reaches from amidst the gentle darkness 

a darkness that we all fear, but cannot avoid. 

this boy's hand grasps the strong hand of a father 

and he steps into the light 

no longer afraid. 

he takes his first steps 

and embraces his new life. 

he no longer feels pain. 

nor suffers. 

feeling only the warmth. 

and love. 

which shall forever surround him. 

he shall spend his forever years 

in this wonder 

where all his dreams 

may be touched. 

this boy is not alone. 

he is now embraced fully 

openly, by the one 

who will eventually embrace us all. 

the days become years 

and we all are reunited 

once again. 

so this goodbye 

is only temporary. 

so dearly will you be missed. 

and this pain will dull 

allowing our hearts to remember 

your devotion, and love. 

and we will dance among the memories 

of yesterday 

where only flowers now remain. 

^Shannon Clements 



15 



0ntt upon a time 

Pp: gprtl Unefjr 

3 lobeb pou once, 

&nb j>ou bibn't fjabe lobe for me 

Put fenoto tfjat 3 ftabe mobeb on, 
|?ou babe founb a lobe for me. 

gou gap it t£ because 3 fjabe cfjangeb 

M pou truly lobe me, 

W&\\p bib 3 babe to cfjange for pou to Hobe me? 

Wfjat's; torong tottfj tf)e real me? 



16 



Birth of a 

Superhero 

part 1 

by David Molettiere 

Finished on February 9,2000 

October 31, evening 

A battered, brown Ford LTD pulled up to the front of the Wild Turkey Kicker Club 
and stopped, despite not being in a parking space, with its lights on. A woman dressed in 
an elaborate banana costume stumbled out of the front seat, awkward in her outfit. 

"When I find that no-good father of yours, I'm gonna.. .Oh, I don't know, but it's not 
going to be very pretty," she commented in the direction of the back seat. 

"I wanna come with you," whined a young boy who now sat alone in the car. He was 
dressed in his favorite costume ever, that of the blue Power Ranger. 

"No, dear, this is an adult party. It's not suitable for you. Just eat your candy and I'll be right 
back." With that, she headed towards the entrance. 

Timmy hated it when his mother left him alone like this. Still, he did have a rather 
large haul from his trick-or-treating activities earlier in the evening. After several minutes, 
he had eaten all the best pieces of his candy, and his mother still had not yet returned. He 
pulled his mask back down and began to pretend that he was really a Power Ranger. "Go, Go, 
Power Ranger," he started to sing repeatedly, with great exuberance, but with no skill. After several 
more minutes had passed, he decided that a Power Ranger doesn't need to stay in the car. He 
unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the door. He looked around, as if expecting his mother to 
come screaming at him for disobeying her orders. She was nowhere in sight. Then, he rushed 
towards the door his mother had entered. Just as he brushed past some adults, all whom were try- 
ing to slow him down, he heard a loud voice say something about "fakes"... 

November 4th, morning 

Sean awoke, and with a just- waking forgetfulness, was again surprised by her surroundings, 
her clothes, and most of all her body, until her memory of the past few days came back to her. 
The memory of how she had been transformed at the Wild Turkey Kicker Club. 'I don't have to 
sleep,' she thought to herself, 'so why do I continue to go to bed every night?' She realized that 
force of habit might have something to do with it. However, she was afraid that this was a sign of 
depression, that she was unwilling to face life as a super hero, and therefore wasted time each night 
to sleep. 'This has to change. Perhaps, I'll start a nightly patrol over the city... ' 

As she mulled things over, she wandered around the apartment, noticing that Sherry was 
gone. She found a note that read, "Sorry I couldn't stick around till you woke up, but I have a 
class to attend. See ya later, Sherry." Classes! Sean hadn't even thought about what to do about 
classes yet. Her only class on Mondays was a course in Ancient Greek taught by Dr. Drysdale. 
She was never good about attending this class, as she had always been able to learn the material 

17 



without the lecture. 'In fact,' she thought, 'I may not need to worry much about my classes at all.' 
To test her theory, she rummaged around and found her Greek book. Quickly skimming it, she 
found that she could easily recall anything that she spent even a few seconds glancing at. 'I think I 
won't be attending class today' she thought to herself with a smile, and then flew out the open 
window to enjoy the sunny day. 

November 4th, evening 

'Well, that was certainly a nonproductive day' Sean thought to herself as she flew back 
towards the apartment. Still, she felt she deserved some time off from school and other hassles 
after recent events. She knew skipping school didn't exactly make her a good role model but how 
could she explain to her classmates, her teachers, or her roommate Fred in the dorms? Later, she 
thought to herself. These were worries for another time. Perhaps later in the week she would be 
prepared to tell the world about her change. Perhaps for now she could at least enjoy her new- 
found powers without fear or shame. 

Such were her thoughts as she flew in through the open window of the apartment that she 
and Sherry now shared. As Sean entered, Sherry looked up from the table where she was seated, 
surrounded by a small pile of textbooks, notebooks, and loose paper. 

"Oh, hi, how was your day?" Sherry asked. 

"Oh, very relaxing. I know I shouldn't have missed classes, but still..." 

"Don't worry about it," Sherry replied. "I found a copy of your schedule and talked to 
your teachers. They were very understanding when I told them about your change." 
"Y-you told them?" Sean sputtered, realizing that her secret was no longer so secret. 

"Of course. I thought you might feel a little uncomfortable about telling everyone, so I did 
it for you. I also got a list of homework assignments., .it's in here somewhere," Sherry continued 
as she dug through a pile of papers. "Anyway, your dorm-mate, Fred, said that he was worried 
when you didn't come back to your dorm room after the Halloween party and all. Don't worry, a 
lot of students were transformed, so the administration is making special arrangements for all of us. 
I made sure that your name was added to the list that they've got down at the dean's office." 

'Great, now everybody knew. Everyone on campus, anyway. God, I wonder if my mom 
will hear about it. Gahh,' she thought to herself. Sean was floored by the news, and tried to think 
of something to say, when there was a knock on the door. 

Sherry said, "Oh, that'll probably be Steve. He and I are going out tonight. I hope you don't mind 
me leaving you alone again?" 

A date? She's going out with another guy?' Sean thought. Then realized, no, she's not 
going out with another guy. Sean began to realize he'd lost more than his genitals when he was 
changed; he had lost Sherry. Who could blame her? After all, if Sherry had turned into a guy, 
Sean wouldn't have wanted to date her anymore. 

Sherry opened the door, revealing Steve, who stepped inside. They hugged and then Sherry 
said, "Steve, I'd like you to meet my roommate, Sean; Sean, meet Steve." Sean looked up at Steve, 
a tall athletic-looking guy with a blonde crewcut. 

"Uh, nice to meet you," Sean responded more out of instinct than truth. 

"Yeah, you too. Who would have ever thought you were a guy? Man, you're gorgeous," 
Steve replied as his eyes wandered from Sean's bare legs to her chest. Sherry elbowed him gently in 

18 



the ribs. 

"Who's gorgeous?" she demanded, with a sarcastic smile. 

"Oh, of course you are, honey, but jeez, I've never seen a guy I'd want to have sex with 
before." Steve's gaze returned to Sherry to answer her, but returned almost uncontrollably to stare 
at Sean. 

"Yes, well, if you want to ever have sex with this girl again, you'd better start paying atten- 
tion to me," Sherry responded mirthfully. "And on that note," Sherry continued, turning to Sean, 
"we'll see you later. Don't wait up." Then Steve put an arm around Sherry and they walked out. 

'So,' Sean thought, 'this is the way things are. Sherry doesn't, probably can't, love me. And 
men... they want me. They'll all see me as nothing but breasts and legs.' Sean collapsed to the 
floor, sobbing. After a few minutes, she realized that she was sitting next to a large pile of comics 
that Sherry had conjured up, some that even Sean hadn't read. Scooping up the pile, she took them 
to her private little Fortress of Solitude, realizing now how appropriate that name might be. Soon 
afterwards, she put down the comics and started to think about how this mess was started. 

October 18th, mid-day 

It was a day like any other day in mid-October. The weather was beginning to turn cold, 
and the leaves were beginning to change colors. Overcast grey skies loomed overhead, and Sean 
felt the need to go out and do something. So, he got in his car and drove to the mall. For a while, 
he wandered aimlessly, seeking whatever he could find. He sighed when he saw Christmas decora- 
tions beginning to be displayed prominently. 

"Can't they even wait till after Halloween?" he muttered to himself. Then he noticed the 
Halloween Store. From outside, he could see hints of odd masks and costumes and was drawn 
inside by his innate curiosity. 

As he picked through what was there, he saw little out of the ordinary. He half expected a 
salesperson to show him to a back room, where he would find costumes of a more fantastic, possibly 
magical nature, but such was not to be. Then, he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned, not know- 
ing what horrid sight might await his eyes. Yet, no monstrosity was there, no slavering demon or 
drooling monster. Instead of some repugnant terror, he saw an attractive saleswoman who looked 
oddly familiar. 

"Hi, can I help you?" she began, and then paused, staring at him. "I've seen you before, 
haven't I? On the college campus?" 

"Uh, yeah, I think so. I'm Sean." He stared back at her lovely face and was awe-struck by 
her beauty. 

"Hi, I'm Sherry." As she spoke, he noticed her nametag supported her claim. "Are you just 
looking around?" she asked. 

Sean replied, "Well, I was thinking of maybe getting this," pulling a Superman costume off 
the rack, "but I don't have either the physique or the hair for it." He brushed aside his long 
blonde hair to emphasize this point. 

"Hmmm, let's see what we've got," she replied, flipping through the racks of costumes. 
Sean wasn't sure what she was looking for, he had already seen everything on the rack. Perhaps she 
was looking for a Hercules costume; he had seen the Hercules and Xena costumes based on the TV 



19 



shows, but neither really suited him. 

"Ah, here we go," she commented, pulling out a costume. "How about this? Your hair 
would go well with this one." 

He saw that she had pulled out a Supergirl costume. He wasn't quite sure what to say and 
didn't want to offend her. "Are you serious?" he asked her. 

"Yeah, I don't see why not. Guys dress up as girls on Halloween all the time, and you're 
thin enough that you could probably pull it off." He hesitated, thinking it over, but was still going 
to say no when she asked, "Do you have any plans for Halloween?" 

"Well, no, but..." he started to say. 

"Then, I'll tell you what. Why don't you meet me here on Halloween, about 5 o'clock. 
That's when I get off work. Then, I can help you with your costume, and we can go to this club I 
know where they're holding a costume contest. Okay?" She spoke with confidence. Once again, 
Sean hesitated, staring at the costume, wondering if he could bear to be seen in public wearing the 
costume. Sherry misinterpreted this pause, thinking he was looking at the price tag, and said, "I'll 
even buy your costume for you. Well, how about it?" 

Well, he couldn't fight it anymore. He realized that an attractive woman was effectively 
asking him out on a date while offering to buy him the costume, which he might have wanted 
anyway (as a collectible, if not as a costume). "Sounds great," he answered truthfully, but won- 
dered if he would really have the nerve to go along with it. They talked for a few minutes more, 
getting to know each other better, until finally he made some excuse and left. 

Week before Halloween 

Sean didn't see Sherry again during the days before Halloween. As the days passed, he 
began to anxiously anticipate this date, much as a child would do for Christmas. Yet, he never 
stopped to think for very long about the costume that he would be wearing. 

October 31st, mid-day 

When the day of Halloween finally arrived, Sean drove to the mall around 1:00, not want- 
ing to be late. He ended up roaming the mall with little to do, but figured that it was better than 
being late. Wasting a lot of time, Sean browsed through the bookstores and played games at the 
video arcade, but he began to grow restless. Finally, he looked at his watch and it read 4:30, so he 
headed over towards the Halloween Store. He waited outside, out of sight, not wanting to seem 
too desperate by arriving too early. 

Finally at 4:55, he walked into the store. Sherry was there, waiting on customers. When 
she saw him, she waved and told him that she would be a few minutes. He watched her ring up 
some purchases until one of her coworkers took over for her. Then, she beckoned him to follow 
her. They left out the rear of the store, passing through a small employee's lounge where she 
picked up a bag with a receipt stapled into its top. They headed towards the parking lot. Sherry 
led Sean to her car, and he got in while she put the package in the trunk. 

"I figured we'd go by my apartment first, get dressed, and then go out. You don't need to 
stop by your place for anything, do you?" she asked. 

Sean replied, "No, that's fine." 



20 



As she drove, he couldn't help but stare at her. She was so beautiful, with her long black 
hair and her curvaceous body shown off by her tight mini-dress. After they arrived, she grabbed 
the bag from the trunk and they walked to her apartment. 

Once inside, she pulled out the costume from the bag, and asked him, "Well, do you still 
want to go through with this?" 
One look into her deep, dark eyes, Sean was left without the power to say no. "Sure, let's do it!" 

She smiled. "Good, You'll need to shave first, face and legs. There's a razor and a bottle of 
Nair in the bathroom. You can handle that by yourself, right?" 

"Uh, yeah," Sean replied, not realizing all that might be entailed. Sherry pointed to the 
bathroom, and Sean went inside, closing the door behind him. He stripped off his clothes and 
applied the Nair to his legs. The cold, white substance shocked him, as he waited for it to do its 
job. When time came to wash it off, he was surprised at the difference. His legs felt smooth and 
silky. After shaving his face, he thought about putting his clothes back on, but chose to wear a 
towel instead. 

With only a pink towel wrapped around his waist, Sean opened the door and found Sherry 
standing there with her costume already on. She was wearing a black dress with sparkles on it, a 
belt consisting of metallic moons and stars, black fishnet hose, and black high-heeled shoes. She 
looked at Sean and grinned, "Good, now go into the bedroom and put on the items I have laid 
out for you. You'll need them to look like a woman." She pointed in the direction of the bed- 
room. 

When Sean went in the room, he found a tight panty-girdle, a pair of fake breasts, a bra, 
and a pair of red high-heeled shoes. He put on the bra with only a little difficulty, and put the 
fake breasts in it; it seemed odd to look down and see them sticking out. The panty-girdle, on the 
other hand, was a bit less comfortable. He could barely pull it up all the way, and it constricted 
his body, making him become well aware of every breath. His genitals, however, did not fit at all, 
until he realized that he was supposed to tuck them between his legs. After doing so, with a bit of 
discomfort, he looked down and saw a very feminine contour. 

Sherry walked in, looked him over, and said, "Good, you're ready to put the costume on." 
She handed him the Supergirl outfit, and looked at it, trying to figure out how it should go on. It 
came in several pieces: a tie-on red cape, two red "boots", a yellow tie-on belt, and a mini-dress 
with a built-in red panty. He put it on, with assistance from Sherry, and it just barely fit. It was 
very tight, showing off every curve of his body. Sean tied the belt around his much thinner waist 
and the cape around his neck. Then, he looked at the boots, now understanding why Sherry left 
him a pair of high-heels; the boots were very large and had no bottom except a piece of elastic, 
allowing them to be worn over any pair of shoes. Sean wondered how Sherry could have guessed 
his shoe size, but found the shoes only a little too small. His feet were pinched terribly, but they 
did fit inside. Then he put the boots over them, and he thought he was done. 

"Oh good, you're almost ready. Come." She beckoned him over to her makeup table, 
where he sat down. Sherry explained what she was doing with each step, but Sean paid little atten- 
tion, due to the fact that this was the first and last time he was ever doing this. Eventually, she 
applied foundation, blush, blue eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and bright red lipstick as Sean day- 
dreamed about other things. 



21 



His daydreams ended suddenly when he felt the pain from Sherry plucking his eyebrows. 
"Hey!" he commented. 

"Hush, they'll grow back," she replied. Several painful minutes later, she proclaimed she was done. 
He looked in the mirror, expecting to see a beautiful woman, but only saw himself with makeup on. 

'I couldn't possibly fool anyone,' he thought as he pondered what reactions people would 
have towards him. Then Sherry grabbed his right hand, and Sean looked to see her gluing long, 
red, fake fingernails over his own fingernails. He figured she was done after gluing the fingernails 
on, but she said that he still needed earrings. 

"We'll have to get your ears pierced," she said with a grin. 

"What?!" 

She smiled. "Just kidding. Here." She handed Sean a pair of red clip-on earrings, which 
he put on with some help from Sherry. "Now, I think we are ready to go," she told him. Sean 
stood up, and Sherry grabbed her purse and a witch hat before leading him back to her car. It 
took Sean several tries to open the door with those long red fingernails. 

"How do women put up with these?" he asked. Sherry just shrugged. She drove them to 
the club she had mentioned before, and Sean noticed a sign proclaiming it to be the "Wild Turkey 
Kicker Club." 

They got out and, as they walked to the door, Sean felt a cool breeze blowing against his bare 
legs. He noticed other costumes while walking towards the door. Most people were unimaginative, 
and many were in costumes Sean chose not to buy. The most unusual was probably a woman 
dressed as an M&M. The others were more standard: a skeleton, a pumpkin, a cow, two people 
dressed as a horse, a devil lady, a pair of gypsies, a Roman Centurion, and a guy dressed as a table. 
There didn't seem to be much competition, so Sean still felt he had a chance of winning. When he 
told Sherry this, she replied that it might help if she told the judges that he was really male. 

Sean was surprised. "You mean, you think they won't be able to tell?" 

"Of course not. Look." She replied, pointing at the club's window, which was reflective 
due to the darkness. Sean saw a woman dressed as a witch standing next to a woman as Supergirl 
and... Sean then realized that, though not as beautiful as Sherry, he looked like a woman. "One 
thing that's been bugging me, though," she continued, "is, if Superman's home planet of Krypton 
exploded, where did Supergirl come from?" 

A smile crossed Sean's lips as he began to organize the information in his mind in such a 
way as to explain to a non-comics reader all the pertinent knowledge. He told her of how Argo 
City survived because of Superman's father's brother, how the inhabitants of the doomed city of 
Argo had to deal with the ground beneath them turning into Anti-Kryptonite, how Superman's 
father's brother had a child named Kara Zor-EI who was rocketed to Earth from Argo, how Kara 
had patterned a costume after Superman whose adventures she watched from Argo City, how she 
met Superman for the first time, how she became his "secret weapon", how she revealed herself to 
the public for the first time, and how she died, sacrificing herself for the universe. 

"She's dead?" Sherry asked. 

"Yeah, in fact, they decided that she never existed. So they created a new version of 
Supergirl who's not Kryptonian, but that's a whole 'nuther story," Sean stated. He didn't have 
time to tell this other story, though, because they were now entering the club. They found one of 



22 



the few remaining tables and sat down. Sean was amazed at the large number of people packed in 
such a small place, but it was made more unusual by the vast array of costumes. Harlequins, cave- 
men, mice-women, zombies, and many other varieties surrounded them. Sean asked Sherry when 
the contest was going to begin, but she didn't know. So, Sean asked a guy dressed as a Roman 
Centurion as he passed by their table. 

"Contest?! What contest?" he replied, then turned and walked away. Sherry gave Sean an 
innocent look before confessing that she knew there was no contest. Just as Sean was about to 
question her further, they were interrupted by a loud voice, proclaiming, "I have had it with this 
room full of FAKES!!" Then the chaos began. After a lengthy pause, Sean looked down and real- 
ized that he had been transformed. 



**Author's Note-I have a few more plot lines for this story, but it would have made it too long for 

this issue of The Gleaner. Stay tuned next semester and keep an 

eye out for the first issue of The Gleaner for 

the 2000-2001 school year. Part 2 will be 

in it as I will finish writing it over the 

summer break. Part 2 will explain many 

questions you may have.** 




23 



Heather Forster 



WHO AM I? 



I know what I am 

By the tough strands of hair, 

Permed each month for easier care. 

I know who I am 
By the thickness of my mouth 
That I inherited undoubtedly, 
From my people down South. 

I know what I am 

By the rhythmic way I walk. 

By the timely step I dance, 

And the Northern slang I talk. 

I know what I am 

When I stare at my reflection. 

I look into my eyes and almost see perfection. 

I know who I am 

Not by the color of my skin, 

But by the person I've found deep within. 



By: Zofia "Princess " Martinez 



25 



NONE TO BE GIVEN 

This is me, 

This is who I am. 

I try to impress, 

But that doesn't work. 

I sit and listen, 

But I'm the only one talking. 

I gave her my heart. 

I gave her my time. 

It was not enough. 

All the bad things were found, 

The good ones not discussed. 

My respect for her, 

Just a good act. 

Now, not being close, 

Our friendship fades. 

I'm the backup, 

The one for last minute calls. 

But I will move on. 

Always looking back though. 

I will remember everything, 

And hold it locked inside. 

She will just glide along, 

Missing something close within her. 



INVTDIA 

As I walk down the halls, 

I can see their smiling faces. 

They stare at each other without reprieve. 

Holding hands, 

My eyes are transfixed. 

Their friendship 

Would weather the wind of any hurricane. 

They mend each other's wounds after each storm, 

Despite the howling winds of my jealousy. 

All they have, 

Is all I lack. 

I once had a girl, 

But the core of my soul was not enough. 

Was it me and a want for a closer friendship? 

Or was it both of us that blew out the candle? 




26 




PRESSURE 

My soul, 

Frigid as ice. 

My life, 

That of a rock. 

When something needed, 

It is lifted up. 

My conscience, 

Filled with confusion. 

Friends float by, 

They'll never understand. 

They are just there. 



ALL YOU 

Sitting on the cement. 

Taking in the silence. 

The darkness, 

What a good cover. 

No one will see, 

When the tears roll down. 

All alone, 

Talking to yourself. 

This is all you have. 

Wishing for things, 

Things you can only provide. 

What's not right? 

Relax, think, glide away. 

This is where you're special. 

Ma tthew Hastrander 



27 



PRISONER 

The heart aches with all your pain. 
My tears are with you, 
I feel what you feel. 
Blue that they are, 
Your days are golden. 

Explaining is the reason. 
Tradition is the excuse. 
Heart, tears, love 
Are seduced by you 
In a wave of talking lies. 

The sun shines brightly 

On you and your excuses. 

Trust and to think of being near you 

Are the clouds in my life. 

You are what I must have. 

You are what I must avoid. 

Sean Dallas 



The glow of your sun is fading now, 

Your brilliant color blends. 

Painting you is easy 

By remembering why we became friends. 

I heard the train stopped for you. 
You had your pass to board, 
And all our yelling and crying at you 
To wait for us was ignored 

The voice said you didn't have time to wave 
Or say goodbye. 
I cant imagine why. 



28 



The whistle sounds 

And you sit in your seat. 

Through your window, you look down. 

And we think you are gone. 

It can't be true, please. 

But the name in print confirms it 
You left, but you'll be back. 
When we play our games 
And say your name 
When we see the reds and blues 
It will be the same, won't it? 

Sean Dallas 



Scaredom is the nastiest word in the world. 

It haunts you from here to there; 

It finds you waiting for it to strike. 

Alone, it rips through every hair. 

Every night. 

It is dark and it is failure. 

It is dangerous and all powerful. 

It steals from you everything you believe in 

And a few things you don't. 

It is the undoing of man 

And the doing of man. 

Consumes you, envelops you, drunks you, saddens you. 

Maddens you, crosses you, overtakes you, teaches you. 

Scaredom is to be feared 

And to be steered 

From. 

Scaredom is to be heard 

And not forgotten. 

And then forgotten 

Every night. 

Sean Dallas 



29 




Christine Babler 






30 



To< 



Helpless to 
Take Over 



Too weak to write 

So the mind takes over 

Too sad to cry 

So the heart takes over 

Too numb to hurt 

So the feelings take over 

Too tired to fly 

So the spirit takes over 

Too small to fight 

So the feet take over 

Too dumb to know 

So the whip takes over 

Too afraid to love 

So the bitterness takes over 

Too down to care 

So the sandman takes over 

Too hard to die 

So the world takes over. 

Jodi Paterno 



SIMPLE BEAUTY 



The strength of one light... 

Burning 

The heat of one flame. . . 

Melting 

Simple Beauty 

Simple Beauty 

Endlessly changing 

Time beacons night 

The sun is reborn 

As are our souls 

the collection of light. . . 

burns 

The collection of heat... 

melts 

The collection of life... 

dies 

The reality of love. . . 

overwhelms 

Shine like the night 

Cry like the day 

Take flight 

Run away 

White doves are everywhere 

Seek and you will see 

White doves are everywhere 

As is simple beauty 

Jodi Paterno 







WONDERS NEVER CEASE 
WONDER #V 

As I think with the mirror 

With only letters to confuse me 

I wonder why I wonder 

Of what I cannot see 

His love is so real 

That it seems like unreality 

So, why do I feel 

That I am not worthy 

I've done nothing to others 

Except give love in return 

So why should I be bothered 

With letting my heart burn... 



Burn with the flame 

I know will never die 

Which shall always remain 

As the sparkle in my eye. 





32 



INSOMNIAC'S CAFt 

The true insomniac leads a very scary life. Most insomniacs n 
their evenings are full of activity, friends, music, dancing, food and other distrac- 
tions. They are usually the liveliest at parties, trying in a vain attempt to chase 
away the cobwebs building in their brains. However, unplanned nights are the 
bane of their existence. Half of them are in their beds, anxiously listening to the 
various noises of the night. The other half of them watch every infomercial, sit- 
com rerun, and B movie shown during after-hours television. Both kinds of 
insomniacs spend the daytime as zombies, trying not to fall asleep at work while 
downing cup after cup of caffeine-laden coffee. 

Among these poor, tired people is a legend of the Insomniac's Cafe. The 
myth supposedly began in Kansas, spreading throughout the Midwest, and final- 
ly engulfing the entire country. The legend goes that the Insomniac's Cafe looks 
just like any normal diner. The upholstery is old and cracked, the counters are 
stained, and the windows are smudged. Yet, the staff is cheerful and the place is 
open all night. This is not unusual in any way. The thing that draws insomni- 
acs from miles away is that the cafe brings the promise of sleep. Even the worst, 
red-eyed insomniac, who has not had a decent night's sleep for years, gets relief 
from one meal at the Insomniac's Cafe. Not one of them knows how or why it 
works, and most don't care. 

The only person who knows the secret of the cafe is Irma Rakefield, the 
owner. A good-natured, buxom woman, she always has a smile or a piece of use- 
ful advice for everyone. Her spirit lights up the lives of all her patrons. Yet, she 
discovered a way to never pay an electric bill. With a method never to be 
revealed or understood by a logical, thinking human being, Irma uses human 
energy to run her business. As the customers eat and drink, their energy is liter- 
ally sucked out of them. Many have a hard time actually driving home. For 
those occasions, Irma maintains a little lounge in the back, complete with 
couches and cots. It is not unusual to see a person dozing off at a table or the 
front counter in a peaceful sleep. To top it all off, every person awakens 
refreshed and happy. It is the true insomniac's dream. 

Is it an alien presence feeding off the people's life force? Could is be a 
Native American curse over that particular piece of land? Perhaps it is a gift 
from the angel of insomniacs? The only soul that we can get the truth from is 
Irma, and she happens to be enjoying a nap at the moment. 



Robin Goldblum 



Marcia Moore 



FOR THE LOVE OF HER 

Farewell my love, for I will no longer fight for nothing. 

I hope she will satisfy you, for I was put on this earth 

only to serve you, not control you. 

Your happiness lies with her, and I can't change that. 

If it is ever a time when you are not pleased, I'll be here; 

Just reach for the stars, whisper to God, and I shall return. 

Our times were good, but I guess not enough, 

her power over you is too strong. 

Remember love endures, as I am love. 

Your feelings for her selfishness will soon fade, 

and you shall be free. . .to love. . .to love me. 

Time awaits, and even though each minute feels like eternity, 

when it is time for us to be joined again, 

the time wasted will only be a few seconds, 

for infinity lies ahead, and time will be 

of no consideration in love's eyes. 

As long as feelings are shared, there is a chance for us. 

If our feelings have changed, then this is goodbye... 

-Mook 



34 



James E. Diamond, Ph.D. 
October, 1996 

Background. Because of living and working with Bulgarian people during 1993, 1995, and 
1996, I developed a very special and warm empathy with regard to Bulgaria and its people. I 
learned to appreciate and understand difficulties of Bulgarian lifestyles at urban, village and 
rural levels. This understanding led to professional and personal ties with very hardy people. 
A people who are tolerant to agony, hardship, and adversity. A people who boldly endured 
strife and never lost faith in themselves nor their beloved country. To put into perspective 
three unique Bulgarian experiences, I wrote the following poem titled "A People Hard, 
Tolerant, and Bold" as an attempt to portray a summary of my inner feelings that evolved from 
experiencing a tiny slice of life in a country having a very special people. 



A People Hardy, Tolerant and Bold 

Bulgaria, a country both young and old, 
its people hardy, tolerant and bold. 

Through centuries they have toiled its rich soils, 
in times of prosperity, and times of spoils. 

Their enduring tenacity continually quests for a path, 
that one day will lead their beloved country from despair and wrath. 

With her lands so vastly diverse and a populace strong willed, 
labors of the devoted crave to be fulfilled. 

As throes of change give rise to anxiety, 
yet contentment of harmonious livelihoods remain hidden by obscurity. 

Sure as the rugged Balkan mountains defiantly retain their majestic beauty, 
the determination of Bulgarians to mold the face of their great Republic shall thrive for an eternity. 

Like reverberating clinking sounds of Sliven's crystal, 
Bulgarians recognize the vibrant anguish of tribulations for a life immortal. 

With faith and hope, persevering Bulgarians untiringly toil to preserve, 
a heritage that enriches freedoms all Bulgarians deserve. 

Bulgaria, a country both young and old, 
its people hardy, tolerant and bold. 



35 



Man on the Moon 

She cried when first she saw it -i 

Therei headlining the news - 

"Han walks on the moon - 

Hooray for all humanity!" 

While all the world cheered 

Everywhere around hern 

She could only watch in silence 

Wondering at their joy. 

"One small step for mann 

One giant leap for mankind." 

These words echoed in her mind 

As she wondered what direction 

That step was taken ini 

And why such great emotion 

For a leap towards one's doom. 

Uhat was this great advancement 

That took away her youth? 

Hope and dreams and childhood wishes 

Lay now like scattered leaves 

Trailing in the wake of this 

faceless beast 

Some called technology. 



Tracy J. Hall 






You seeinni fair away, 

Over mountains andl hills 

The beauty betweeiru us couldi never eoirnp; 

To see you for a moment, 

To have you embrace inme, 

lit inmay sadldlen may heart, 

But ][ must see you ag-ain. 

ly niindl teases inme with your face. 

the joy you give irne in a single moment, 

Couldi last inme a lifetime. 

][t only nuakes me want you more. 

Hot tears streaming down ray face 

As the realization hits me. 

What was once there is gone. 

Iff only our tiinrie together could last. 

Each time 11 see you, I save you in my heart. 

eyes fill with tears as your simile dlanees in my mind. 

Every irnonuent with you is tuckedl away, 

dleep ins idle of inme. 

No one will know, 

Or couldi even try to undlerstandl 

all the hurt 11 feel when 11 must leave. 

You andl I are the only ones who understand. 

With all the pain andl anguish, 

][ still need yo'u andl still love you. 



Marietta C. Balliett 



37 



"Spring Fashions" 



INTRIGUE 



Crocuses spying mischievously 
From behind tpe melting snow. 



DAFFODIL REVEILLE 

Bugle most delicate, 
Proclaim the glory 

of 

Presh-blossomed Spring! 



Spring Candles 

Ruby tulips, seining bright, 
Candles waxed and fair, 
shed your bounce-bright light upon 
T^e vital, radiant air! 

white Hyacinth 

floral stars on emerald spikes 
That scent the air so dulcet. 



SUNBURST 



O brilliant forsythia, 
The Sol of Spring 
Embodied therein! 



Baby b( 



we 



Siberian squills gaze 
With e^es of 
Innocent blue 
Upon a fresh new world. 



chi 



imes 



Delicate bells of Spring, 
The Japanese quince blooms 
In dainty splendor. 



Spring Buds 

Many hued paintbrushes, 
Tresh buds wait, 
Poised to create 
A masterpiece. 



floral Communion 

Bwtterj" (ies approach 

T^e soft, delicate chalices 

To receive t^eir cups 

of nectar-wine. 



Flower picture by: 
Christine Babler 



Amy Zimmerman 



38 



Amy Zimmerman 

BEST FRIEND 



The way I feel for you; 

It's like I've been there every 

Step of the way 

Like I know you so well; 

Like you're my best friend. 

I truly care about you 

So very much 

And even though I don't know 

You, I feel I do because I 

See some of me in you. 

I envy your hard work 

And perseverance and faith in 

God through it all. 

I think you've had a harder life than 

You'd like to let 

People know. 

I feel your emotions as 

You sing them in your songs. 

I love your style in songwriting and singing; 

I always have, 

Ever since vision of love 

I identify the most with you 

Of any singer 

And I feel the same things 

As you do 

And that's why I feel like 

You're my best friend. 



39 



ALAS 

ALONE, 

WITH YOU BY MY SIDE. 

YOUR SOFT (EYES FORTELLING 

THE FUTURE OF THIS MYSTIC EVENING. 

THE SCENT OF COLOGNE 

LINGERS UPON THE AIR, 

WHICH GROWS INCREASINGLY HEAVY 

WITH ANTICIPATION... 

OUR BREATHS BEGIN TO MINGLE 

AND THE INTENSITY MOUNTS. 

AS YOUR LIPS MEET MINE, 

TIME NO LONGER CONTINUES. 

WANDERING HANDS CARESS 

AS THEY EXPLORE... 

THE SOFTNESS OF YOUR LIPS 

BRUSH OVER MY SENSITIVE SKIN, 

SWEETLY TEMPTING, TEASING, 

FUELING A BURNING PASSION. 

THE DAWNING OF A LONGING, 

SO DEEPLY EMBEDDED. - 

CAUSED BY A WILDFIRE, 

IGNITED BY YOU. 

YOUR ARMS EMBRACE hAE 

AS THE HEAT OF YOUR BODY 

MEETS MINE. 

TOURTURED 

BY THE GENTLENESS OF YOUR KISSES, 

MY HANDS CURL UPON YOUR BACK. - 

CONSUMED BY AN ACHING 

STIRRED DEEP WITHIN, 

MY SENSES OVERWHELMED. 

A WARM SENSATION AROUSED, 

IGNITING A GENTLE SHAKING. 

YOUR EYES AND YOUR LIPS 



40 



ONCe AGAIN GREET MING 

BEFORE OUR BODIES FULLY INTERTWINE. 

A PASSIONATE UNION 

FEEDING FROM A PRIMITIVE NEED. 

AMOMENTINTIME 

WHERE TWO BECOME ONE, 

WHERE TWO, A WHOLE, BECOME SO STRONG. 

A MOMENT SHARED 

WHEN TIME SEEMINGLY STOPS. 

AS THE BREATHING SLOWS 

AND CLENCHED HANDS UNWIND, 

THE NIGHT SEEMS WELCOMING 

THE STARS TWINKLING A BIT BRIGHTER. 

MY KNEES STILL WEAK, 

MY BODY STILL QUIVERING, 

I NUZZLE MY FACE 

IN THE WARMTH OF YOUR CHEST, 

LISTENING 

TO THE STRONG BEATING OF YOUR HEART. 

YOU ARE TRULY A GENTLE GIANT, 

FILLING AVOID 

AND AROUSING BURIED EMOTIONS. 

HERE I COULD REMAIN... 

IN A PLACE IN TIME 

WHERE TIME DOES NOT EXIST 

AND I AM OVERWHELMED 

BY YOUR WARMTH AND LOVE. 

-SHANNON CLEMENTS 



41 




Jodi Paterno 




Heather Forster 



mm 



/ 




w 



s&* 






r^^v j 








^ 


v 


R^ 


x. 





Ife 



I 1 



I 1 




£W« Range 






Jodi Paterno 




Dr. John Mischler 




Jodi Paterno 




.;< 



Dr. Karen Schramm 



48 



C£&mewieas> 



. The Beautiful? 



Injustice 

Ignorance 

Morality... 

the question 

Hatred 

Malice 

Torture 

Blood spilled 

Children abused 

Incestuous perversion 

Thirsts quenched by the 

raging flow 

Racism 

Sadism 

Masochists galore 

Pain... 

the universal language 

Melicent Salani 



50 



Marcia Moore 



Q^Ou Q^wd 'Q/ViaAt witA (y/ou 

I anticipated the moment when our souls would unite. 
I feared it would not have been the fantasy stuck 

on repeat in my mind. 
There was nothing extravagant or secret rendezvous 

of seduction. 
It was a gentle touch, a soothing sensation 

that filled me from head to toe like molasses 

fills a jar thick and smooth as it slowly 

coats and protects the inner walls. 

I thought there would nave been tears of fear 

and frustration of regret. 
It was peace of mind, body, and soul; a state 

I knew I would never reach. . . 
It was love. 
All pre-conceptions and calculations were mere 

false pretenses, for I mistook what I thought 

would give me satisfaction. 
My sweet prince of the ghetto became my knight in 

shining armor 
Who would have thought you could be my everything? 
Nothing of what I thought I wanted, but 

delivered my every need. 
You gave me love. . . 

— -Mook 



51 



WHAT WOULD YDUDD... 

If I told you "I love yau" 

What would you do...? 

Would you run away from me? 

Would you say that your heart belongs to someone else? 

Or would you say I love you too? 

If I told you I wanted to kiss your lips 

What would you do... ? 

Would you say that your kisses belong to another? 

Or would you return the kiss favorably? 

If I told you my heart beats for you 

What would you do... ? 

Would you ask me to redirect the pulse of your soul? 

Would you say that someone else is the keeper of your heart? 

Or would you give your heart to me explicitly? 

If I told you that I wanted eternity with you 

What would you do... ? 

Would you leave my life for always? 

Would you tell me that you've promised eternity to someone else? 

Or would you embrace my heart and soul and make this last forever? 

~Z. Y. Martinez 



52 



EMOTIONALLY, WE'RE ON EMPTY, MOM! 

How did you leave us, Mom? 

Was it the galloping pneumonia suspected by the M.D.? 

Did that turn out to be your best friend 

At the very end? I heard it is. 

Was it the weak ventricle in your heart? 

Did it really burst, as Doc said it might? 

What kind of pain or sudden surge of fear 

Went through your chest, or mind, or body? 

Or did you feel a sense of release? 

When did you leave us, Mom? 

The Doc called before 6:00 AM 

To say you had gone. 

Emotional shock waves ransacked us! 

Only the night before you talked 

And made light, funny remarks. 

We did say, "Good night" but NEVER 

Did it cross our mind to say 

"Goodbye." 

We even noted how beautiful the flowers 

Were in your room. 

The next morning 

Our collective six eyes gazed 

Upon you-still warm. 

The flowers drooped. 

Did they know the answer? 

Did the nurses know? 

Did the doctor know? 

Or was it a secret between you and God? 

Why did you leave us, Mom? 

We weren't ready for your departure. 

We hung our heads and empty hears in pain 

As we left that room. 

And I realized the M.D. was right: 

You had left it before we did. 

Rev. Dr. Richard C. Ziemer 



53 



Marietta C. Balliett 



THINGS I WANT 

Jo love you and be loved. 

Jo feel your warm embrace. 

Ho cry and have you ask why. 

Jo have you cry and tell me why. 

Jo have you paint me a picture in my 

head of your favorite memory. 

Jo have me paint one for you. 

Jo sing and dance together. 

Jo lie on the grass and gaze at the stars. 

Jo dance barefoot in the rain 

In the middle of the field. 

Jo talk of our dreams and of our expectations. 

Jo have you love me. 



54 



JUST LET ME BE 

Just kiss me and let me 
nuzzle my round face in the warmth 
of your chest while you tangle 
your fingers in my curly locks. 

tell me that you want to remain 
here, forever in this moment 

that there are no preparations for the marrow 
no eyes need to bleed over pages of white 
sprinkled with pepper lettering 

that there are no tears that need my 
kiss to soften their dagger of sorrow. 



So that instead I may lend my 
eyes to the pink sky and watch as 
Mother Nature closes her eyes. 

Let me lie in the arms of a man 

who exudes qualities unknown to others 

who share in his era 

let me lay in his strong arms 

to share time and exchange smiles and 

exist as I may 

in my own accord 

blossoming into womanhood 
spreading my butterfly wings 
ever so gently, yet with the power of 
a hurricane 

all packaged into 
a small frame. 

Just let me be 

to share this moment in the 
safety of his arms under the 
pink of night. 




Girl picture by: 
Ann C. Anderes-Mullen 



-Shannon Clements 



55 



BLOOD LUST UNTO LOVE 

You fill my life, 

my every thought. 
Owning all parts of me, 

taking my soul. 
As one we walk, 

through eternal darkness. 
You envelop my being, 

swallowing all of me. 
Flesh yearning, 

for your searing touch. 
Mind pulsing, 

to devour every piece of you. 
You course through my veins, i 

raging, sweet, and warm. 
Bringing excruciating pleasure,!! 

felt in the deepest recesses of myfsoul. 
With the blood-curdling screams we share, 

it is shown unto us we were meant to walk 
Together, 

United, 
as one. 




Melicent Salani 



56 





57 



Conrad Martin 



MY TEARS WERE IN THE RAIN 

I had a dream one night that you hac 

left my side and when I arose, your ^ 
presence had vanished. 
You had slipped into the very existence 

you had tried to oppress. 
You failed to release your burdens to 
A higher level and broke your covetous bond. 
My tears were in the pond. 

Time and time again, my friend, I tried 
to give you what you needed 
Yet you wouldn't accept it, for you did 
not understand or it didn't fit your 
rationale as if my unconditional love 
was fake. 
I gave you signs when you asked and 
you brushed them off as mere coincidence. 
My tears were in the lake. 

I couldn't believe you had me in the places 
your flesh chose 
I cut my heart deep for you to say those 
brutal words, 
and feel so cold in the cruel, cruel 

world. 
You allowed yourself to be acceptable 

to its plea and tried to satisfy us 
in its debt. 
I nearly quivered as my tears 
were in the river. 



58 



Why are you so stuck on what will 

get you by? 

Eros love and short term highs? 

What makes you think you can 
survive by denying your existence 

and confusing who you are? 
Did I not show your miracles? 
How else would you have come this far? 
I continue to give you the breath in your 

lungs and the strength in your body. 
What else do you need to see? 
Is it not all done? 
My tears were in the ocean. 

Then I turned to my Father and asked 
him where you had gone and were 

you ever coming back home? 
He said, "don't worry, my Son, for he 
just went down the block. The 
Holy Spirit is with him, Child, 

don't be in shock." 
He assured me that you would come 
back to me as all your days ordained. 
I couldn't help to express my joy 
by sending my tears in the 
rain... 

— Mook 



59 



DREAMIIS/G 

Dreaming can be frightening 

When you dream, 

All things are possible. 

I love to dream... 

However, it can be frightening 

To imagine you ha\/e everything. 

Ha\/e you dreamed without effort or struggle? 

Is that frightening to you? 

No dream is too good to be true... 

-Z. Y. Martinez 



i 







Picture by: Tracy J. Hall 
60 



12 AND CENTRAL 



In the darkness, 

A child spoke 

And offered up a gift 

Of words dark and empty 

To match a heart the same. 

In the darkness, 

A child spoke 

In pained tongues 

Of fear and denial 

In a world beyond Hell. 

In the darkness, 

A child took comfort 

And sought even to smile 

Knowing none would see 

Dew fall from a cheek. 

In the darkness, 

A companion responded 

With gentle words 

To soothe a troubled soul - 

For blood runs thick 

From scars unhealed 

With darkness as a veil. 

But a child knows 

And fears the light 

Which shines with truth and mistrust 

For companions are vampires 

Who flee from the glare, 

Leaving wounds freshly opened 

To bleed in the sun. 

In the darkness, 

A child prays 

For Dawn to take refuge 

In a world far away. 

But Reality strikes 

Like the whore that she is, 

And somewhere in the darkness, 

A child speaks 

And says 

"The sun shall rise." 





Tracy J. Hall 



61 



Amy Zimmerman 
TRULY BLESSED 



I honestly don't know how 
I did it- 

Or how you did it 
For that matter- 
How I seem to have 
Stumbled onto this 
Great relationship 
Where there's an 
Equal amount of trust, 
Love, forgiveness, and loyalty. 

I must say 

I've been truly blessed 

To have met and to know 

You. 

For all the things you do, 

And the ways you've influenced 

My life. 

For all the hard decisions 

You've helped me through, 

For all the times 

You've 

Been a shoulder to cry on 

If I don't succeed at 

Anything in my life; 

My career, my family, 

Personal relationships. 

Nothing. 

I'll know I've done right 

By remaining best friends 

With you 

And that's all I'll 

Ever need to remain the same 

Throughout my life 

In whatever I do. 

Thank you. 



62 



LINDY'S GIFT 

Janet Beagle 

The day everything was to be divided according to the will, the child was told to go forth 
and choose a single item from the old house. There hovered about her milling aunts and 
uncles, nephews and nieces, and cousins she had only heard about, faces she has seen only in 
pictures, names as distant as those from a book read long ago. The child moved through this 
crowd and looked at the articles strewn about. They were different, somehow, as though the life 
had fled them the day her grandmother left. They were no longer arranged in their usual loca- 
tions, but heaped in neat segments for easy sorting, crowded together into a few large rooms so 
that the remainder of the house was left spidery and still. There was much bustle here in the 
front of the house, but even in the vortex of activity, the presence of the remaining rooms 
could not be ignored. They were felt in the airy pauses between words, noted in the hushed 
voices, whispered about as the remaining rooms were gutted. There was a solemn finality to it 
all. Once the items were dispersed, the old house was to be old, the profits split among those 
left behind. No one wanted to live in this old section of town anymore. Everything remaining 
was whittled down to its value. Reduced to calculable figures-dollars and cents to be split 
equally and legally-until one whole lifetime became nothing more than a small fragment of the 
economy. 

Oh, it wasn't quite so cold as that, perhaps, but as the child moved from pile to pile, 
room to room, and back again, she intuitively knew, instinctively felt the undercurrent in the 
house-the hushed discussions of value, the quiet urgings of those about her. She heard behind 
her, and dodged the steps of paper and pencil, calculating, black-tied business suits, and brief- 
cases. She reached a thin hand out to caress one intricately carved panel of a wooden desk, felt 
the soft texture of the finely hewn chairs, stroked the rich luster of a polished table. "That's a 
beauty there. Why that's got to be worth at least..." She moved on, weaving between the 
antique furniture, the hand blown glassware, the delicate figurines. She looked at her own 
reflection, distorted in the shining dip of a polished silver spoon. She studied her pixie face, 
puckering her pinched mouth into a perfect o. she furrowed her brow, watching as the reflec- 
tion shifted and slid about on the smooth surface of the silver. There were those who felt she 
was too young for such a monumental task. Many had commented that such a young child 
should not be thus exposed to the harsh realities of life. Well-meaning busybodies suggested 
that the child be ushered outside until the business dealings were over. The child's inheritance 
should be determined by those who knew her needs, they said, those who could make proper 
investments, and then someday... but on this her guardians had stood fast. It was her grand- 
mother's wish that the girl take one item of her own choosing, with no prodding or prying 
from other family members. It was not unfolding quite as planned, for no law could prevent 
meddlers from bumbling about the girl, exclaiming first one sentiment and then another with a 
great abundance of head nodding and finger shaking. But she was within the great old house at 
last, and though she wasn't sure just what she was seeking, she knew she would stumble upon 
it soon enough. 



63 



She looked at the perfectly matched sets of antique silver, watched the light dance in little 
droplets along its ridges as she carefully replaced the spoon she had removed. There were 
spoons from all over the world in this box. Grandmother had been a traveler in her youth, and 
she always returned with some small token, some finely etched silver spoon that spoke of mys- 
terious places, dashing evening, gallantries... The child's eyes glowed for a moment as she 
recalled the fantastic stories her grandmother used to tell. How she loved to laugh and tell sto- 
ries! Even when the child had been too young to understand some of them, she had always 
laughed too. Her grandmother had such a contagious laugh. Such fun... 

The child moved again, then, around more boxes, some piled as tall as she, and then she 
found herself quite suddenly at the entrance to the hall. Her little steps padded lightly as she 
moved down the hall. It was suddenly very quiet and echoey away from the bustle of people at 
the front of the house. Everything looked different with the rooms so empty and still. Yet, it 
was still the same, somehow. One could almost recall the familiar scents - powder and sweet 
soap and gingerbread. Yes, when you parted your lips just slightly and breathed ever so shal- 
low... She padded softly into the last room on the right. It had been her grandmother's bed- 
room. The large four poster bed had been removed, and the girl noted the bright spot on the 
rug where the dresser had stood; the sun had bleached the rug all around it. The sun had 
always shone in the room, from the large windows framing the corner of the house. It was still 
brightly lit, and with the white lace curtains removed, the scattered shadows that used to float 
across the floor were gone. It was still airy, light, and sweet, like the first breath after the cool 
summer rain when everything smelled sweet and fresh and new. Four deep prints remained 
where the legs of the over stuffed chair had rested. How many times she had sat in that chair, 
little feet not quite touching the floor, watching her grandmother prepare for an evening out, or 
reading to her, or — her eye caught the closet door and she moved to it, swung open the door. 
The shelves were all stripped bare with the boards removed and stacked against the wall. This 
had been her closet. What a store of wonderful things it had contained! All of grandmother's old 
clothing had been kept here. When she was tired of wearing something or it had worn out or 
gone out of fashion or, the girl realized with a smile, whenever she had taken a special liking to 
something, grandmother would announce with a flourish, " this looks like it belongs in Lindy's 
dress-up closet." And out it would come: out of the big double sliding door closet across the 
room and into the dress-up closet. Such hats and scarves and beads — oh, the assortment was 
ridiculous - but how beautiful they had made her feel! The two of them would dress up togeth- 
er. Sometimes grandmother would even allow Lindy to pick out her outfit, and no matter how 
outrageous the combination was, grandmother would don it with attentive care and a great 
show of preparation and excitement. Then they would have hot chocolate — that was always 
their favorite drink -and sip it bit by bit out of sandwiches cut into fancy bite size pieces for 
their luncheon date. The girl began to laugh again as she remembered the times they used to 
have. What times they were! Now, she shut the closet door, gently feeling the latch catch softly 
beneath her palm. She knew, suddenly, what it was she was going to take from this old house. 
She traced the path of the room again, lingering in the corner where that old stuffed chair had 
been. She remembered once asking her grandmother why the old chair was kept in her bed- 
room. "It's the most comfy chair you own, grandma. How come you don't have it in your sit- 



ting room 'stead of way back here?" And her grandmother had laughed, her whole face lighting 
up, her eyes glittering with mischief. "Thar old thing, Lindy dear? Why, it's so tattered and 
patched and worn." 

"Yes, but it's the most comfy one in the whole house." The child said this with such 
stubborn self-righteousness that her grandmother had laughed again. 

"Let me tell you a secret, Lindy." And Lindy had climbed up on her lap in the big old 
chair. "I keep my finest furniture in the front room for all the world to see and sit in and 
exclaim over, but the best furniture I keep hidden in the back so that it will be especially com- 
fortable just for you and me." 

Lindy had pondered that for a long time, sitting in that chair, until her grandmother had 
said, "If I moved this chair to the front, then we wouldn't be able to sit in it here. We would- 
n't want that, would we?" And that, at least, had made perfect sense to her. 

"I like it best right here, grandma." 

She had laughed again, and kissed the top of her head. "So do I, Lindy, my dear." 

A shout from the front room brought her out of her reverie. Lindy's chest heaved slight- 
ly. They were starting to look for her. She cast one last glance around the room, then pattered 
softly back down the hall. She knew now exactly what she would take from Grandma's house. 
She could almost feel the soft cushions, sense the warm embrace of so many days long gone, 
wrapped up in that old chair. She was certain the light and scent from this room would be 
preserved forever in the worn fabric. Yes. The finest of everything was displayed in front, 
Lindy reminded herself, but the best, the very best, Grandma had reserved just for her. 

Now she only had to find it. 




65 




d&ukX*^ 



Christine Babler 



66 



The Gleaner 

High School Writing 
Competition 



The English Department 
is very happy to have sponsored its third 

high school writing competition, 

which was designed to showcase the work 

of young writers in the area. 

We are amazed at the talent, sensitivity, and 

ear for language shown in their poetry and prose. 

Our thanks and congratulations go to them, their families, 

and, of course, their English teachers! 

L. M. 



67 



Lenka Kneschke 
Wissahickon High School 
Mrs. Fimiano 
Grade 10 

A ragged trail of life 
I drag behind me, 

Frayed and shredded, 
Is ripped and torn 
With every step. 

There 's a solemn old man 
Who walks behind me, 

Quietly and expectantly, 
Anxiously gathering 
The fragments of life 
I leave behind, 
Longing for 
The fundamental value 
In the youth of the life 
He once wasted away. . . 

The particles relish 

In his hand. . . 

A chance to live again! 

And the man tries 

To treasure the remains 

I skip over and neglect, 
The remains in which 
Life 's true 

Meaning and sentiment 
Are hidden. 



68 



Naamah Razon 

Upper Dublin High School 

Grade 12 

Dr. Sharon Traver 



^eaufiu Id^ueem 



A teenage girl, 
Sits on the corner of the stool 

At the edge of the counter, 

One leg dangling to the floor, 

The other beneath her. 

Black shoes, black dress, red scarf, 

Wrapped around her pale neck-twice. 

Her auburn hair is pinned up, 

Twenty-two bobby pins stuffed into a bun. 

She hurriedly tucks the escaped tendrils behind her ear. 

A patch of freckles covers her nose, 

Little polka dots on smooth fabric. 

She bites her lip, pearly whites over tender pink, 

And looks down at her hands. 

Her fingers outline the counter top's grooves 

Repeating the same circular pattern cut into the glass-cut deep. 

"Six minutes," he said, "Be right back and I love you." 
She looked towards the clock and smiled-six minutes were up- 
Jumped off the stool and walked into the winter night, 
Shook her hair and laughed, locks blowing wildly 
Twenty-two pins falling to the pavement. 



69 



Thomas J. Bassinger 
North Penn High School 
12th Grade 
Mrs. McPeak 

A LITTLE LEAGUER'S DREAM 

A little leaguer's dream 

To play baseball 

To swing a wooden bat 

To feel the stinging sensation 

Vibrating through my tingling body 

Wrapping my hands around it for the first time 
A surge of energy like electricity 
Transforming me to a man 

Connecting with the stitched leather 

The smell of success 

Overwhelms as I can hear the sound 

Of a bat echoing 

Like the rippling effect of a stone tossed into a pond 

An object of my strengths 
An object of my power 
An object of my skill 

Resembling my future 

Its rigid smoothness interrupted 

By scars 

Marking the years of my childhood 

And the rise and fall of my dream 



70 



Lindsay Mann 
Friends' Central School 
Mr. Vernacchio 
Grade 11 

HIS PORCELAIN HEART 

when he slept she would join his dream 

the two would reach out under the sheet to find another hand 

when she spoke his mind processed nothing 

his chest would swell with warm devotion as he became lost in her face 

he would walk the halls of his hotel 

dazzled by the neon glow from the soda machine 

he reached his room, swearing he could smell her as he climbed into bed 

he would rise from the subway steps 

gazing at the darkening sky 

thinking about how bright she could make it 

his absence from her arms never existed to begin with 

but the man woke a day with space between his mind and her heart 

found his hand at his side not hers 

he stood up 

took a step back 

when she spoke his mind processed nothing 

except the notion that he could hear surprisingly well 

for the distance between them 

he found himself staring with relentless apathy 

at the finger-less ring discarded on the pillow 

he reached out in dream 

found no reception 

so he lay and danced 

with the memory of a moonlit missed chance 

shattered his own porcelain heart into 

hapless fragments on the bed 



71 



Ariel Lindorff 

Upper Dublin High School 

Dr. Sharon Traver 

11th Grade 



SATURDAY MORNING 

It's a freezing Saturday in deep December. From my place in the open door- 
way, I can see the road, and on it the people on their bikes riding to work, 
school, or the town market. They're all hurrying, and not because they have a 
particular reason to rush. The bikers have simply found that pedaling furiously 
will keep them much warmer than sitting still in their apartments, comforted 
only by the tiny, regulation heater that is allowed in this specific countryside 
town outside of Xi'an, China. 

I would love to have a bicycle, or a heater for that matter. But Ma's stall 
at the market doesn't bring in enough money for either, and she cries when I 
complain. I don't complain much to her, because I don't know how to comfort 
her when she's in tears, and it scares me. 

Father says that my feet are more reliable than a bike any day, and that 
blankets will always last longer than electric heaters. I know he only says that 
out of pride, because if his daughter openly gawks at other people's luxuries, he 
will lose face. "We have what we have, Shan-Shan," he explains over and over, 
every day, even when I don't mention the subject at all. "It's enough." 
Sometimes I wonder who he's reassuring. 

Today, like every other winter day, I am up long before dawn for my 
morning routine. I lay breakfast out on the table for Ma and Father, who are 
getting ready for work, and I begin to get dressed. Two pairs of pants and three 
sweaters, one over the other; my seat in school is close to the back of the room, 

72 



so far away from the squat little coal stove propped against the teacher's desk 
that I might as well be halfway across the world for all the heat that reaches me. 

At about five o'clock I start on my daily trek to the schoolyard. In my neigh- 
borhood, there aren't many children. I'm very alone as I weave my way through the 
roadside collection of makeshift houses all much like my own. The houses look sad 
to me. Huge cracks between poorly fitted beams make the walls of the houses look 
injured, full of gaping sores that the weather can only make worse. 

The road to school isn't short. I arrive at about five-thirty. Along with 
other students, I set about cleaning up the classroom: washing windows, sweep- 
ing floors and dousing them afterwards with a bucketful of icy tap water, light- 
ing the coal stove so the teacher can keep warm. Already my fingers are frostbit- 
ten and sore, but in a while they'll be numb. 

Our history class today is about some inventor, an American that came up 
with the idea of the light bulb. I wish I could do that; just come up with a 
wonderful, useful idea off the top of my head and wind up in history books, 
where everyone would know my name. 

While I daydream, my history teacher paces around the room, glaring first 
at some unfortunate soul who happens to be in her line of vision, then at her 
notes on the blackboard. She's not in the best of moods. 

Unfortunately, I fall into her line of attack. "Liang Shan!" Her voice rings 
against the plain concrete walls and I hope I've misheard. I haven't. "Tell me, 
what was the first invention of this Mr. Edison?" 

I answer, "The light bulb." I haven't been listening, and it seems like my 



73 



best guess, I never get to find out if I was right. 

"Look at me and stand when you answer. You've been in my class for six 
years now, you know my rules. Stand, look me in the eye, answer... and pay 
attention while I am teaching." She frowns disapprovingly at me, and I cower. 

She turns, walks away, far away, to the front of the classroom and the 
warmth of the coal stove. I feel my fingers tingle, and I wonder what it would 
be like to have heat. The cold goes to my head, and I start to doze. . .just 
enough so that I completely miss the fact that my name has been called several 
times. The teacher is standing over me, menacing. 

"You do not sleep in my class," she growls. "Even the students who come 
from decent homes and parents with respectable jobs seem to have no trouble 
paying proper respect in the classroom." She looms above my head, and I feel 
myself shrinking, drowning in my sweaters. "Go home," she says, slowly and 
deliberately. "And make a decision. Either learn how to stay alert in school, or 
learn to be a good butcher because that's the only option you'll have." 

I leave, ashamed, stripped of my dignity. No one discusses my mother's 
job. Many of my classmates' parents teach at the university nearby. Mentioning 
my differences wasn't right of her, but there it is. It can't be undone. 

I approach my home, and the houses by the roadside look cruel now, not 
injured. The beams in the walls and leaky roofs are like crooked teeth, gri- 
macing, mocking, saying, "This is your place. This is what you will become." 
I shove open the door to my house, trying to vent my anger before I get 
inside. I lie on the bed for a time, thinking. By the time my parents get 
home, I am resolved. 



74 



I am going back to that school, and I am going to become something. I 
am going to America, or anywhere, someplace where I can become someone. 
I'll be a doctor, an engineer, someone indispensable, someone the world needs 
and can't ridicule. I have what I have... but I want more. It's not enough. 

I tell Ma. After all, ambition is a useful thing to have, isn't it? She should 
be proud. But she only cries, and it scares me. I don't know why she is crying, 
and I can't comfort her. 




75 



Naamah Razon 

Upper Dublin High School 

Grade 12 

Dr. Sharon Traver 

THE NUT CRACKER 

He sits there, on an old picnic bench, stained with many children's spills 
and artwork, mesmerized by mysterious forces, forces of age and wisdom. He 
meticulously works on cracking the many pecans, piled high in a basket, 
pecans that his now rough skinned hands planted into the rich soil. He is 
filled with stories, of immigrant boats and life in Argentina, of my grand- 
mother as a beautiful teacher, and of cows and chickens, but his serene face 
reveals nothing. Beneath those many wrinkles and sun caused freckles lies a 
heart made of dedication and patience, an enigma understood by few. He 
quietly continues to hammer the smooth, brown shells. His bruised and 
dried fingers grasp instinctively, tightly gripping his tool. His standards 
demand that each pecan must be removed exactly by his procedure. Crack 
lightly on the side, peel, and GENTLY remove the heart with the tips of the 
thumb and index fingers. The few remaining hairs on his scalp are moist 
from the sweat trickling down his sideburns. He never adapted to the hot 
Mediterranean sun. 

"Yaaaaaaaacooooov!!!!!!" The high-pitched scream sounds form the 
kitchen. His composure remains unchanged; he continues to work. 

"Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacooooooooooooov! COME HERE!" The frantic voice 
sounds again. With his Sony headphones, fitted comfortably on his balding 
head, he hears nothing of this panic. She marches out of the kitchen, hands 
placed firmly on her hips. The dress she wears, made of bits and pieces of sur- 
plus cloth; cloth used to make pajamas and dresses for her twelve grandchil- 
dren, reveals her swollen ankles. She is a woman of hard work and produc- 



76 



tiveness, of efficiency and rules, of results. Her white clogs cause a steady tap- 
ping, like a horse walking down a stone path. She hurries down the two mar- 
ble stairs and begins lecturing, mechanically switching to Spanish, hoping 
another language will produce some impact, and cause different results. 

He looks up at his wife, like an innocent child, unaware of his crime. He 
raises his eyebrows and smiles, his gleaming dentures sparkle. She glares back, 
emerald eyes trying to penetrate his equanimity. They have been married for 
fifty years, but still she possesses her frenzied ways, and he, his calmness. 
Ridiculing his obliviousness, the state of the kitchen, his clothes, his looks, her 
house, she rambles in a rage, slurring her words into a jumble of confusion and 
anger. He raises himself, revealing his pale, now tender legs, bulging with crim- 
son and azure veins. She continues to bicker and complain, about life, money, 
children, him. He approaches her, his aged body moving slowly, not in pace 
with his heart and mind. His sky blue eyes gleam with energy, and he opens his 
massive arms, encompassing her frail physique. She turns away, determined to 
get her way, but in reality concealing her smile. He wraps his once muscular 
arms around her soft arms, which feel like a newborn's. Her baby powder 
aroma fills his nostrils, and young and old mix through his mind and memories, 
wondering where time disappeared. 

She lets out a giggle. A youthful laugh, like the one that slipped through 
her stern lips the first time he held her hand. They stand there, arm in arm, for 
a moment. She lowers her head to his bony shoulder and sighs as they descend 
their bodies to the bench to recapture their breath. With their fingers inter- 
twined, they sit. The couple with the old bones and young hearts. 



77 



Nina Salinger 

Upper Dublin High School 

Grade 9 

Dr. Elizabeth Treat 



ONE CHANCE 



(This is meant to be read a stanza in column one, then a stanza in column two, and 
so on except for when the columns come together.) 



She walks into the room 
timid and meek, 
stunned by his presence 
afraid to speak. 



He stands there and fears 
the nearing footsteps he hears, 
but composes himself 
as her form appears. 



How relaxed he seems, 
and how gorgeous too, 
she can't help but wonder 
if he can see through. 



She looks like a goddess, 
so calm and at ease. 
He hopes she doesn't notice 
that he's weak in the knees. 



Her body stands frozen 
to watch her spirit advance, 
it draws nearer and nearer, 
then asks him to dance. 



His joints tighten up 

as panic sets in, 

but part of him moves forward 

as it sheds it's stiff skin. 



Then trumpets sound 
and lights dance around, 

as each spirit rejoices 
for the other it has found. 



78 



While each empty body, 

still several feet apart 

sees before it's eyes 

what it longs for in it's heart. 



After one glorious moment 
of rapture and delight, 
her frozen skeleton melts 
as soul and body reunite. 



What wondrous warmth that filled him, 
had long ago passed, 
but something else was inside now, 
for his soul completed him at last. 



With hope in her eyes she intended 
to see that fantasy and reality be blended, 
but to no avail; she was destined to fail 
for the ballad had already ended. 



Why hadn't he done it earlier? 
For that was the last slow dance, 
tied up in fantasies, the song passed by 
as did his only chance. 



79 




Jodi Paterno 



80 




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within are not necessarily those of the 
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